Summary: This sermon asserts that Jesus Christ is in fact the only Hope for man.
Introduction: Everyone is searching for something. Some people are searching for the perfect job. Some people are searching for the perfect man or woman to marry. Others are searching for a political movement that they can believe in, while still others are searching for a special cause that they can pour themselves into. Many of these people are looking for something or someone to fill a void in their lives that they don’t even realize that they have. The Bible teaches us that we are made in the image of God, and that we have a spiritual nature called a soul. Our souls have a void that can only be filled or satisfied by a personal love relationship with God through his son Jesus Christ. Unfortunately that isn’t a very popular thing to say these days. So instead of turning to Jesus to satisfy their spiritual desires many people are turning to other religions or false doctrines. Consequently America and most of the world are gripped in a Spiritual Drought that is having a devastating effect on individuals, families, and even our churches. I believe something has got to change. I believe the only Hope for America and the world today is a genuine Old fashioned Holy Ghost Revival. Our culture is becoming more and more anti-God and anti-Christianity.
Our nation is at war, and it seems that there is no end in sight to the violence and bloodshed. Regardless of who wins the presidential election chances are we still be fighting the War on Terrorism for many years to come. If not in Afganastan and Iraq then in the streets of New York City, Washington D.C. and Jerusalem.
Gas prices have hit a record high this week. I put some gas in the van on Thursday and couldn’t believe that I had to pay $3.34 cents a gallon. I don’t have to tell you that times are hard. You don’t have to turn on the news to know that the economy is in trouble or that there is a housing slump All you have to do is drive around town and look at all of the houses that are for sale. Even though Simpson County continues to attract new industries some people are losing their jobs and there is a lot of uncertainty about what the future holds.
I wish I could tell you that things are going to get better but I can’t. I don’t want to sound like a prophet of doom and gloom today but I personally believe things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
Having said that I want to assure you that we are not doomed, that there is Hope.
The Prophet Jeremiah certainly understood this: In Jeremiah 29:11 He said,
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Now I want you to listen to a song, and watch the slide show that goes along with it this morning before I continue this message. The title of the song is “Every Man,” and it is performed by the Contemporary Christian Group “Casting Crowns.”
The first thing I want you to remember this morning is that…
I. Jesus provides peace for troubled times.
I’m sure that James the brother of Jesus had his share of problems but He not only learned how to deal with his problems but also learned to be thankful for them. Listen to what He says in James 1:2-4.
JAS 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
JAS 1:3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
JAS 1:4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
We all have troubled times. We all go through storms in our lives. Some are worse than others, but we’ve all had them. The important thing is what we do while we’re in the midst of that storm. Sometimes people become depressed when difficulties come their way. Others become bitter or even angry with God and blame Him for all of their problems. Instead of blaming Him, we need to do what Peter did. When He looked around and saw the winds and waves he started sinking below the waters of the Sea of Galilee and He cried out to Jesus, who reached down and pulled him up out of the angry waves and into the boat.
Which reminds me of another time when Jesus and His disciples were on the Sea of Galilee when a storm hit. Jesus was asleep and the disciples woke him up and said, Lord we’re all going to drown. He stood up in the boat and said “Peace be Still” and the winds died down and the waves stopped crashing into the boat and everything became still. The disciples were amazed.